adulthood

While In College

The last semester of my last year of college, even a little before that, I was aware that I didn't want to graduate college. I was only there for two years, and I completed my entire bachelor's degree in three years. But I was about two years younger than most of the graduating seniors and most of my friends were sophomores or juniors in school. So I wasn't happy about graduating. I made the best of it and tried not to be sad, but I do wish that I had spent all three years at this school, or that I had done one more year of college at that school. But I didn't, and I saved myself and my family a bit of money. Here's some advice I have for you as you're in college:

Don't try to please everyone because you can't and you shouldn't bother. This is something that I have to work at, but it's something that everyone should keep in mind. God loves you for you and that is enough and you have to realize that that is enough. His love is so much greater than anyone elses'.

Find a group of people you enjoy being with. I had friends that I loved being around. I was me around them. Just be yourself and find a group of friends.

Do something extracurricular. I attended a few clubs off and on, and when it came to applying for scholarships, I wished that I had been in more clubs. But at the same time, I chose to spend my free time with friends and people. I love to be around people. I could have done that in a club, but I just didn't. I did do intramurals spring of my senior year, I did soccer and ultimate frisbee. I wished that I had done intramurals every semester of college because I had such a blast playing with my friends. I don't think we ever won a game, but hey, we had fun. And that's what matters.

Have fun. Don't make yourself do something that you hate or something that isn't you. That goes back to being you. And please, don't do anything stupid. But have fun. I went out to far too much fro-yo and coffee/tea just so I could hang out with people. I chose to spend money I had, but probably should have spent wiser, to go out. And while I could have gone out and not gotten anything, I decided to spoil myself, because college only happens once. Just please, don't do anything stupid.

Realize that this is a unique time in your life that won't ever be replicated. You are going to be surrounded by people your own age who are in the same stage of life as you. So enjoy it. Don't wish it away. I was talking to another senior about how once graduation comes around, you wish for another year (or two). But when it's not coming for you, you can't wait for summer to come. You're so ready to be done with school. Personally, I was dreading summer for months. My friends were all excited for it, and I was happy that they were happy, but I didn't want it to come around because it meant the start of adulthood. I enjoyed my last few months though and am incredibly grateful for the chance to go to my school.

Do you have any more suggestions for undergraduate college students?

Broke But Without Responsibilities

There is a bright side to not having a job. You have less responsibilities. Currently I don't have a job or rent. My only expenses are personal things, gas, insurance, my car loan, and my student loans. I can pick up whenever and go do whatever. Granted, I'm limited by money, but what I've been telling myself, to an extent, has been: "You're 20, have no job, and everyone else is broke too. What difference does it matter if you're almost broke or completely broke?"

I told this to someone at the airport, we never exchanged names, and he said:

“You’re going to be broke for most of your life.”

-Computer Scientist I met at the airport

While that's disappointing to hear, the important thing is that for most of your life, you will have responsibilities, you may already have them. But if you're lucky, or unlucky, enough to not have them, you can just pick up and travel. You don't have to worry about taking time off or finding a pet sitter. So that's pretty great.

I've gotten to travel this summer and while I am still looking for jobs for the fall, I'm able to take time and plan road trips and do fun things that I know won't be as easy to pull off once I've started my career. Friends mention future trips to me for their breaks, and by then I'm planning on having a full-time job. I may not be able to do those sorts of things.

So there is a benefit to not having responsibilities. Think of it as a mini-vacation.

Disclaimer: Before you get mad, I realize that there is also a pretty big benefit to having a job and responsibilities. I'm just looking for the silver lining. You may not want to, or be able to, have the same motto. Heaven knows that I would like a job and I'm not shirking away from responsibilities, I'm just taking some time off (Cut me some slack, I graduated college at 20.) So if you don't have those responsibilities, try to take advantage of a little gap after college where it's acceptable to take time off (if you can.) Most people are aware that you won't be able to do that very soon. And if you don't want to or can't, then I hope your find a job or whatever will be the best for you.